The Spin is In: Honda & Ohio, Evil; Josh Mandel, Good

That’s just a title that captures the implications this post and this one want readers to infer about Honda and Ohio House Rep, Josh Mandel, despite the fact that the posts are an oversimplification of the situation and devoid of any mention of any other reasons associated with why HB 151 has been abandoned.

Not to mention a few other confusions: The Wall Street Journal last Thursday said that Josh is 28, but one of the posts says he’s 29. That same post says that Josh was in Iraq for a year – I thought it was six months? That article also insists on calling him Sergeant as opposed to Representative – either one is correct, I assume? Can he be called back to duty – I have never asked and I don’t know his exact status (confessed ignorant re: this kind of military info).

Anyhoo, the Good v. Evil thing is no surprise coming from the latter post, written by Christopher Holten from the Center for Security Policy, a main supporter of Iran divestment legislation and Frank Gaffney-headed think tank.

11 thoughts on “The Spin is In: Honda & Ohio, Evil; Josh Mandel, Good

  1. Anon, Cajun, M and Constituent – Thank you all very much for leaving your comments. This is issue is far from dead nationally – if you read, you know I’ve tried to follow Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit during which he spoke with NY State’s controller re: divesting.In all of this, I’ve yet to see one person rise up and say – it works! it works! it works!Does it? Why isn’t anyone promoting THAT end of things?

  2. PAUL: Sorry for not responding earlier.I agree with many of your points. But I’ve also had off the record conversations with Rep. Mandel that lead me to believe, with all my heart, that while some of the things you point to may be factors, I do believe he really believes in this mechanism as being an important stand to take, no matter how political it is (even if he realizes what a great thing that might be for him). I’m really not at liberty to say or write much more – I promised. And I do intensely disagree with the politicization of this issue – Sudan AND Iran as far as the pension moneys go.But I also have made the judgement that for all the ways in which its being manipulated, at least on the part of Mandel, he really, with his heart, believes that it’s something that everyone should realize needs to be done. That’s my impression anyway.

  3. You are very lucky to have Josh as your state rep. He will do well carrying the torch from Jim Trakas.I was stuck with Lance “just give me a check” Mason, who is now state senator. Now Mason will get a bigger check and do even less.Just can’t understand how you can scrutinize how many squares of toilet paper Josh uses, yet the democrats you support here in Cuyahoga County get a free pass on their corruption and blunders.I thought you had more credibility than that. I thought you were an honest thinker of differing views. Obviously I could not have been more wrong!Maybe your just mad at Josh because he served our country proudly as a veteran and John Kerry turned traitor on our country as a veteran…..

  4. Oh, and relative to Honda: we’ve handed them a negotiating chip. They don’t actually have to leave, just threaten it, and they’ll get one more concession. It might be a little thing (hey, get the OSHA inspectors to back down on such and such a requirement), but the little nibbles add up over time. A smart business person would be foolish to let such a thing slide without getting something…

  5. Did you miss your last appointment?Thought you were seing somebody to help with your obsession with Josh.Nothing on the Cuyahpga County democrats yet, huh?Why do you continually target Josh when the dems in this area, your own backyard, continue with their corruption, lying, incompetence, etc…. and you say nothing?

  6. Jill:I haven’t followed the details anywhere near as closely as you have, so can speak only in generalities. Using the “follow the money” diagnostic, there seems to be several things going on here.One, as I’ve stated before, the pension funds should get out ahead of this by saying they will divest themselves of any verified Iranian investments by some date certain. It can be two years so as not to perturb the market excessively, but it’s the right thing to do if we want to bring pressure to Iran economically rather than militarily. Truth be told, I don’t know whether this act would be truly punative to Iran or merely symbolic. But I don’t agree that the pension funds shouldn’t care — that this a matter of federal policy only. It would not surprise me if the pension fund managers already have some limitations on how they can invest, and that those limitations have a some degree of social policy basis.Two, when the politicians get involved, you have to ask who will get more money, and who will get less. When one digs, the answer is often surprising. If these pension funds are required to sell off these investments, who makes money?Certainly the brokerage houses will make some, although the big institutional investors negotiate fee structures that are far below what individual investors pay. Still, the trading of $billions of securities will generate $millions in fees.If a nationwide movement develops to sell off Iran-tainted securities, then one would expect the price of those securities to drop. How does one make money from that? A few ways. The funds that are divesting themselves of Iran-tained securities have to put the money into something else. That creation of demand will drive up the prices of other securities, especially of those who meet the investment criteria for the funds.Could be that the money players are already lobbying to create some new class of investments that could attract this money. Remember the S&L scandal? All it takes is a little tweak to tax codes, for example, to create huge redirections of investment dollars. Drive through Tehatchapi Pass near Palm Springs sometime and check out the thousands of wind turbines that were built as a result of late 1970s tax policy.When $billions are flowing, it doesn’t take much to generate $millions of profit for someone. I used spend some time with on Wall St with the bond dealers. They would make/lose beaucoup $$ if interest rates shifted 1 basis point (one one-hundredth of one percent), because they had $billions in play.Another more direct way to make money is to short the shares of the securities that will have to be divested. Shorting is a bet that the price of a security will go down. You agree to a selling price today, then hope you can satisfy the selling obligation by, at some in the future, buying the security at a lower price. Actually, the smaller the list of securities that are tainted the better. The best is if it only one, then you have to short only one stock. Making it “energy securities only” in this case is helpful. And masterfully played by the backers of this kind of bill, whomever they are.In my opinion, the supreme duty of the political blogsphere is to ferret out the money flows behind EVERY bill and debate. As you know, this is my mission relative to public school policy. My hope is that a general disgust of this cancerous element develops in the public, and we create an activist revolution that forces governments at all levels to deal with social justice instead of how to make a few rich folks richer on our dime.PL

  7. I’d love to know where my rep stands on this issue, but I e-mailed him and received NADA in response. And then the actual vote was by voice, not recorded vote. I’ll remember that at the next election, Rep Sykes.

  8. Republican Jon Husted and the rest of these people who are talking about divesting are trying to bring money to their friends who run these special investment groups. When retired teachers and retired state employees have to pay higher health costs and lose retirement money, they’ll know who to blame—Husted, Mandel, and their right wing supporters who run investment advisory groups.

  9. Does anyone know if Christopher Holten is an Ohioan? If he isn’t, then I believe he has NO dog in the fight. What does he have to gain, anyway? He is obviously not an integrative thinker, either! (a reference to the blog on the latest research on leaders’ thinking styles) Integrative thinkers are able to at least understand both sides; and if one truly has a good argument for their stance, they do not need to be insultingly oversimplistic in order to get their point across nor do they need to misrepresent the other side. He is misrepresenting the other side in the HB 151 issue, when he ignores things like fiduciary duty, ORC 3307.15, the fact that HB 151 exempts some state funds from the proposed legislation while applying it to just a few selected funds, the fact that the money in the funds came from workers’ payroll deduction contributions, etc. Obviously, the issue is far to advanced and complex for Christopher Holten’s poor little mind! It’s just his own dishonest spin.

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